Trees for Troops Weekend, an annual event when participating Christmas tree farms, nurseries, garden centers and retail lots across the country host a trailer provided by FedEx to gather donations and donate Christmas trees for military families, is scheduled for Dec. 4-6, 2015. Anyone can purchase a tree and then place it on the truck to be delivered to a military family the following week at 60-plus bases in the U.S. and overseas, covering every branch of the... Read more
Over 40,000 volunteers will lay fresh evergreen remembrance wreaths on 230,000 headstones in all 82 sections at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 12 during National Wreaths Across America Day. Wreaths Across America’s mission — Remember, Honor, Teach — has expanded to more than 1,000 cemeteries across the nation that will also place wreaths on veterans’ graves to emulate the Arlington program. Over 80 volunteer trucking companies and drivers help deliver the wreaths. “We... Read more
Three new poinsettia offerings developed by Ecke Ranch and available in 2015 may inspire new uses of poinsettias during the holidays and help extend the traditional poinsettia season. Autumn Leaves is a warm-colored, peachy yellow and it resembles what its name implies. It has speckled bracts and is perfect for early fall sales. Peppermint Ruffles has a speckled pattern reminiscent of crushed candy canes and is ideal for pre-Thanksgiving sales. Jingle Bell... Read more
If you could run your business and do it in a way that made the world a little better at the same time, wouldn’t you be interested? Thankfully, that’s getting easier to do all the time, and the public and media are increasingly paying attention to the stories and conditions behind everyday purchases. Through the media we often learn of exploitative conditions, and environmental short cuts, especially in poor countries. Consequently, businesses and shoppers are... Read more
According to the 2014 Halloween survey from the National Retail Federation, over 25 percent of consumers turn to supermarkets for Halloween-related purchases, totaling more than $1.8 billion in sales. And 162 million people in America are expected to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average of $78 each, with costumes being the top spending category, followed closely by decorations, candy and greeting cards. Consumers between the ages of 18-24 are the... Read more
For over 20 years October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a call to action. The United States has the highest rate of breast cancer in the world and statistically, one out of eight women born in the U.S. today will suffer from breast cancer at some point in their lives. The pink ribbon is the international emblem for breast cancer and the color pink is widely used to raise awareness, so October is the ideal time to think pink with... Read more
Colombian grower  converts waste  flowerbed cuttings into flower shipping boxes
Flores Funza, a flower farm in Bogota, Colombia, and part of Riverdale Farms in Miami, takes environmental stewardship and social responsibility seriously. Seeing the 250-plus tons of organic waste that went into landfills every year from Funza’s farm alone, it approached cardboard and paper maker Smurfit Kappa with the idea to convert stem and flower clippings, plus other organic waste from the flowerbeds, into pulp to make the farm’s flower shipping boxes. Sandra... Read more
In the world of supermarket retail, the mere mention of the word “shrink” causes store managers and department heads to break out in a sweat. The fact is, the sooner we accept shrink as a tool to measure success and a cost of doing business, the sooner we can increase sales, lower shrink exposure and rest easy. At the root of the shrink solution stands sales expansion. Increasing incremental sales at a healthy rate will ultimately correct and minimize shrink... Read more
The best way to sell more is to educate consumers
One of the biggest things that separates the floral industry from many other industries is the lack of serious education, for both our floral personnel and our consumers. As floral professionals we have all heard consumers say, “I could never get my flowers to look like that,” while they watch a designer at work. As a designer I don’t want everyone to be able to design like me, aka job security. But just think — if we could teach the consumer how to work with... Read more
California consumer bunches deliver plenty of ‘wow’ moments
“Whoa — are those real? Those colors are unbelievable — let’s buy ‘em.” California consumer bunches — especially sunflowers — create “wow” moments like this in grocery store floral departments around the country every day. Clients tell us that floral customers are always attracted to and crave the new and the different. This California mixed bouquet combines brilliant sunflowers with colorful fillers and will attract customers’ attention in your floral center.We’ve... Read more
Merchandising basics — telling a story to create impulse buys
They say presentation is everything and this is definitely true in floral. Merchandising products to stimulate interest and entice customers to purchase is key to creating impulse buys in your floral department. Some of the basic elements of an effective floral display are: :Presentation is everything when merchandising products to stimulate interest and entice customers to purchase. • Good location. For the best results, your display needs to be located in... Read more
Customer insights:  Demographics, purpose of purchase important factors in floral transactions
The floral department is unique within the grocery store landscape because the attributes of the product we are selling are extremely hard to quantify. Apples, for example, are very distinct in their attributes — some are sweet, some are tart, some are firm, some are tender, some are better for baking and some are better for eating. It’s fairly easy to walk into any supermarket and decide what kind of apple you’d like, or any person in your family would like,... Read more
SAF 2015 Convention educates, elevates the floral trade
From the President’s Welcome Party on the sandy dunes of the Atlantic Ocean, to the closing night’s Stars of the Industry Reception and Dinner, the energy was invigorating and the dialogue in every open room and in every corner was fresh and openly shared at the 131st Society of American Florists Convention this year, held Sept. 9-12 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Florida. Attendees filled the roles of both teachers and students. Cindy Hanauer from Grand... Read more
Minnesota lily society hosts Land of 10,000 Lilies show and fall bulb sale
MINNEAPOLIS — The North Star Lily Society held its 46th annual lily show, Land of 10,000 Lilies at Bachman’s Heritage room, here, and it was a lily lover’s paradise, featuring Asiatic, martagon, oriental, trumpet, species and interdivisional lilies exhibited by lily growers in Minnesota. The “10,000 lilies” in the show’s title refers both to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the more than 10,000 hybrid lilies that have been named and registered with the Royal Horticultural... Read more
Trends favor Oriental-Trumpet hybrids, Roselilies also growing in popularity
Lilies are a staple of every floral department and every florist in the world. They are a flower that we love to grow and are one of our core crops at Sun Valley. The trends I see right now, coming from Holland and coming from consumer demand, highlight two very exciting developments in the lily world. The Oriental and Trumpet lily crosses, commonly referred to as “OT Hybrids” are now taking on a life of their own. They were originally developed to offer a warmer... Read more
The Liliaceae family contains more than 240 genera and at least 3,000 species. Aloe is in the lily family, as is asparagus, hosta, liriope, trillium and greenbriar. • All species of lilies belong to the genus Lilium, which consists of more than 100 species. White lily, Easter lily, tiger lily and calla lily are the most common or widely known species of lily. • True lilies are perennial plants with narrow leaves growing along the length of the stems and large... Read more
The FloraHolland Trade Fair in Aalsmeer and the International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair in Vijfhuizen will both take place Nov. 4-6 in the Netherlands and they are “the places where supply and demand in the floriculture sector come together,” according to a news release. More than 650 international suppliers of flowers and plants will present the latest varieties of cut flowers and plants at FloraHolland, while exporters, wholesalers and their... Read more
The Shinoda Foundation has announced in a news release that its Shinoda Scholar of the Year award for 2015-16 will go to Melinda Knuth, a senior horticulture major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Melinda’s drive to succeed and her passion for horticulture at its deepest roots make her an excellent choice for the elite company of Scholar of the Year award winners,” said Bob Otsuka, president at the Shinoda Foundation in Morro Bay, CA, in the release. Hailing... Read more
Proflora, Colombia’s biennial flower trade show hosted by the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, has completely sold out its exhibitor space and will be 6,500 square feet larger than the last show, held in 2013, according to a news release. The 13th edition of the international flower show will take place Oct. 28-30 at the Corferias, Bogota’s International Business & Exhibition Center, in Colombia. Exhibitors from more than 15 countries, including... Read more
The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo is scheduled for Oct. 23-35 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Friday, Oct. 23 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. PMA Foundation Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Innovation @ Work 8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Workshop Series 1: “Marketing Your Palette – Color Trends to Guide Your Business” 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Brunch General Session 12:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Workshop Series... Read more